The government has conferred duty-free status for Pangkor Island effective 1 January 2020. The feat is an effort by the government to revive Pangkor tourism with items such as cigarettes included among the duty-free things in the list. The government is also now upgrading the island’s ferry and taxi services and had added a shopping mall and a three-star hotel in the island’s development plan — making Pangkor a great addition to your must-go places.
Here we had compiled a list of things to do in Pangkor. Are you ready to soak up the warm tropical sun on your hammock and cool off by diving into a secluded bay to cool off? Because we are! 🏖️
Go on an island hopping tour and try the watersports
There are plenty of watersports to do here such as snorkelling, waterskiing, wakeboarding and catamaran sailing, where all equipment is available for rent. The most popular site is at the White Rock, one of the Pulau Sembilan’s nine clusters of pristine islands.
Other popular sites are Mentagor and Giam. You can try kayaking or canoeing that will let you explore places on the island freely. In the east is where fishes live, while on the far north are unspoiled calm beaches with a gorgeous view.
Enjoy the beautiful scenes of Pangkor on an adrenalin-pumping parasailing winch boat. Experience the exhilarating thrill of a speed boat dragging your parachute! The instructors will teach you how to navigate, so don’t be scared!
Explore the island
You can rent a car, a motorcycle or a bike and go around the thriving island. With haggling, renting a vehicle will cost you about RM90, motorbike about RM40, bicycle about RM15, while renting a taxi costs around RM40 per trip that will take about 2 hours.
As for the rented transportation, make sure the brake is working correctly. The north part in between Pasir Bogak and Teluk Nipah is quite steep.
Eat delicious seafood at restaurants by the beachfront
When in Pangkor, enjoy the freshest seafood at restaurants sprawling by the beach. Nipah Deli located in Teluk Nipah is one of the famous restaurants with reviews saying it taste like home-cooking with generous portion. There are also many along the east coast where the fishing villages are.
For those with a penchant for luxury can dine at the Fisherman’s Cove that lets diners enjoy an enchantingly beautiful coastal view during sunset. Other notable restaurants include Terumbu Reef Restaurant and D Pine Café @ Rockbund. You can easily take a stroll along the coast with your loved ones after eating at these places.
Visit the Dutch Fort
View the only historical attraction on Pangkor located at the heart of the island that depicts the former glory of the Dutch Empire. Dated to 1670, the formidable Dutch Fort also used to store tin supplies and armoury besides acted as a sighting post.
Located nearby is Batu Bersurat (inscribed stone) known as Tiger Rock from a picture of a tiger carrying a child.
Check out Pasir Bogak beach
Claims to be the ‘Largest Swimming Pool in the World’, Pasir Bogak beach hosts calm, shallow, and crystal clear water. You can do many things here from various watersports to just relaxing by the beach with the sun setting in the background.
Also, check out a mysterious rock carving of a gong 100cm in diameter called Batu Gong at Pasir Boagak.
Have a cuppa at the jetty
Besides eating, it is also lovely to have a cuppa at the dock. There is a local kopitiam called Pangkor Kopitiam which beverages and food you can try while enjoying the hustle and bustle of ferries, boats, and sampans coming to shore.
See Chinatown and Foo Lin Kong Temple
See a different side of Pangkor in its very own Chinatown, which streets brimmed with lively colours and traditional decorations. You can spend some time checking out the local antique shops and try Chinese street foods on the familiar-looking plastic tables.
Meanwhile, Foo Lin Kong Temple, a Taoist temple, house plenty of Chinese paraphernalia and there’s even a mini ‘Great Wall’ replica in the garden that you can check out.
See traditional boat building
See traditional boat building up close at Sungai Pinang Kecil, an expertise craft amongst the local Chinese that has been thriving for generations. The makers use Cengal wood to build the boats due to its rot resistance quality, mixed with others.
Fun fact: Some of these hand-made boats can go over RM1.5 million per piece.
Visit Marina Island Pangkor
Located only 10 minutes from Pangkor Island, Marina Pangkor is a human-made island that hosts a few outstanding attractions such as theme parks, fishing and feeding pools and cosy cafes.
For example, BOON Kids Park provides exciting rides on go-karts, ATVs, motorbikes, motorcars, scooters and more for both kids and adults. Meanwhile, visitors to BOON Kolam Pancing can try saltwater fishing.
Another main highlight at the marina is Frenzy Hippo Park, a water theme park that holds over 40 challenges. Activities on Marina will make for an enjoyable trip with your loved ones.
Feed Giant Grouper
Take this chance to come up close with giant groupers, also located in Marina Island Pangkor. Try feeding these giant fish at a pond in the Marina. Buy a pack of small fish that costs RM10, which is what the 100kg fish feeds on.
Stay in Pangkor Laut Resort
For those who can afford it, this resort is one of the most expensive in Malaysia. Set on a private island, Pangkor Laut Resort is away from the crowd. Some of its parts sit on stilts above seawater, just like those exquisite resorts in the Maldives. There are spas and pools to hang out at, and you can enjoy sunbathing on the quiet beach. Other activities include a daily morning jungle trek which will be a pleasant change from the all-day sunbathing swimming and eating.
Go on Sunset Cruise
Another highlight is the luxurious sunset cruise led by an experienced sailor that sails around the island. You will also get to ride on a mini jet ski when the catamaran takes a break in the middle of the ocean. The price of the three-hour sunset cruise is about RM180.
Visit Kaliamman Temple
Sit in Sungai Pinang Kecil; Kaliamman Temple is one of the only two Shrine of Kali in Malaysia that faces the sea, with the other one located in Penang. In March, Indian and Chinese would come for Pangkor’s annual Goddess Kali and Kuan Yin Festival.
Buy salted fish to bring home at the dried fish factory
Visit the dried fish factory that processes about 1,000kg of fishes daily. See where the fish get dried, de-boned, and dipped into a special liquid before being roasted and weight, and packaged accordingly. Before you go, buy the specialities here including queenfish, mackerel, cuttlefish, crispy fish satay, and many others to take home.
How to get to Pangkor Island
Do you know that the fastest, cheapest and the most convenient way to get to Pangkor Island is by bus? Board a bus to the Lumut Bus Station, then go on a ferry ride straight to the island that will usually take less than 20 minutes. Ferries depart every 45 minutes from the jetty.
Check out some of CatchThatBus’ trips to Lumut below:
- Bus from Kuala Lumpur to Lumut
- Bus from Shah Alam to Lumut
- Bus from Johor Bahru to Lumut
- Bus from Ipoh to Lumut
- Bus from Jerteh to Lumut
Find more trips to Lumut in CatchThatBus.
Featured Photo Credit: Lonely Planet